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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Ward County balks at new task force costs

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Ward County may pull out of the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force over a request for funding made by task force accountant Bruce Salcido.

In a letter to each of the eight participating agencies, Salcido asked each one to contribute $12,000 cash for their share of the grant match this month.

Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez said the money is needed to meet payroll and other expenses of the task force, which began operating in February. Reeves County Commissioners held an emergency meeting last week to allocate funds for the current payroll.

"Reeves County has been very generous allocating funds in advance, but they are unable to continue to fund the matching requirements," Salcido said in the letter. "We are requesting $12,000 to assist with the 25 percent cash match."

Gomez said the state of Texas reimburses the task force for 75 percent of expenses, and participating entities are required to pay the remaining 25 percent. Counties set aside bed space in their jails to raise revenue for the match, but it hasn't been enough, he said.

"I called the counties and told them we want $12,000, but if they can't come up with the money, we won't kick them out," Gomez said. "All we are asking is help to finance this. Once we get seizures built up, we will reimburse that money."

Ward County Judge Sam Massey said in a letter to Salcido that he is very concerned about the request for additional cash funding.

"We were told from the beginning that the first year of the task force would be 100 percent funded by the state grant," he said. "We were told that after the first year the seized fund would probably pay all the bills above the partial grant. But, if those funds did not pay the bills, the bed space deal would surely pay the bills. Now, only a few months into the operation, you are already asking for money from us as underwriters. We believed that to be an act of last resort. We were told `it would probably never happen'."

Massey said he is examining Ward County's contract with the task force.

"It is my intention to lobby the Court to withdraw from the Trans Pecos Task Force just as soon as we legally can do so," he said. "We demand that we be given a complete detailed account of every penny collected or spent…"

Salcido said in the letter that of $213.424 spent through August 31, the state has reimbursed $160,068, leaving a match of $53,256 for participating agencies to pay.

Gomez said the money was spent for four new cars, plus leased vehicles, rent for the office, utilities and equipment to operate the task force. Some money is used in undercover drug purchases, he said.

The state had agreed to fund the task force 100 percent for the first year, which ended June 30, Gomez said. Since organization took longer than anticipated, the task force only operated under that agreement from February through June.

Although numerous vehicles, two houses and thousands in cash have been seized, only a few forfeiture cases have made it through the court system, Gomez said. Until the seized items have been forfeited by a district judge, the task force cannot use or sell them.

The task force was one of two formed in the area last year, after the state denied funding to the Permian Basin Drug Task Force. The state created the other group, the West Texas Drug Task Force, which was at first operated by the Department of Public Safety and is now run out of Ector County.

Transient `helper' helps self Fair booth funds

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Christian charity begins at home.

That's what one resident of the Christian Home apparently thought when he absconded with $750 raised by members of First Assembly of God Church in their booth at the Reeves County Fall Fair.

Pastor Matt Williamson reported to Sheriff's Deputy Michael Dominguez that the California resident had been in Pecos for about two months and had been helping out at the church.

"He did pretty good and gained their trust," Dominguez said.

But after calling Williamson on Saturday night to report the fair booth took in $750 on a chair raffle, the man took his registration record from the Christian Home and left town, Dominguez said.

Dominguez said he is following up on another incident that happened awhile back to get a date of birth on the missing transient.

Officials offer cash for arrest of tire slashers

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Pecos Valley Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone with information that will lead to arrests in connection with vandalism to vehicles belonging to Crane residents, which occurred during a Sept. 24 football game at Eagle Stadium.

Reeves County Sheriff's Deputies received a call at 10:50 p.m that night and were told several vehicles in the north end of the Pecos High School parking lot had slashed tires. Upon arrival, deputy Fernando Valenzuela met with several complainants who said tired on their vehicles had been slashed while they watched the Cranes' 61-8 win over Pecos.

Vehicles with slashed tires included a 1999 Ford pickup which had the front passenger side tire slashed; a 1998 Dodge Van that had damage to front driver's side tire; a 1995 Jeep Four-Door and a 1998 GMC Suburban, both of which had their front passenger side tires slashed; a 1994 Chevrolet four-door that had its rear driver's side tire damaged and a Ford F-150 pickup which had the rear passenger side tire slashed.

"The individuals who committed these terrible acts need to be caught and punished. The person or persons responsible have cast a bad reflection on our whole community," Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said in a statement.

"These individuals from Crane came to support their school and their community as we support our Pecos Eagles. This was a vicious attack against the Crane Community. The individuals responsible need to be held accountable for their actions," the statement said.

"We feel terrible about this incident, we want everyone to feel safe during the games," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.

Parking lot security was increased for this past Friday's Homecoming game against Kermit, and will also be higher for Pecos' final two home football games later this month.

"I don't know how many officers we had, but we had extra security out there," said Love. "Danny (Rodriguez, the Pecos High School Principal and city council member), talked to the city asking for their help, in the form of extra officers."

Rodriguez said this morning the school district is offering an extra $250 for information about the incident. "We put in $250 in addition to the up to $1,000 that Crimestoppers is offering," Rodriguez said.

"We're interested in the security of our community, but also those who come and visit us," said Love. "We want to be good neighbors and want the people who come to Pecos to feel safe."

"We're trying to do a little bit better in that area and take care of everyone," he added.

If anyone has information on this crime or any other crime call Crime Stoppers at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.

OC's local office assisting with financial aid

PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- The Odessa College Pecos Center is sponsoring Financial Aid Peparation Week, which begins today and runs through Oct. 13.

The center will help students planning to attend college classes in the spring of 2000 semester with processing of financial aid applications. The center can help check on possible federal grant funds that may be available to those planning on attending college next year.

Those seeking help who have already been employed are asked to bring their 1998 income tax returns to the office, at 320 S. Oak St., Suite 4. Office hours are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Oct. 7 and Oct. 11). For further information, call Michelle Workman at 445-5535.


AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery: 7-12-33-35-37 (seven, twelve, thirty three, thirty five, thirty seven)


AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 6-4-8 (six, four, eight)


PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- High Tuesday 93; low last night 54. Tonight, mostly clear. Low in the upper 50s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly cloudy. High in the upper 80s. Breezy south wind 15-25 mph and gusty. Extended forecast, Thursday night, partly cloudy. Low in the upper 50s. Friday, partly cloudy. High in the mid 80s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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